For a lot of people, self-therapy seems little more than a pipe dream. After all, it can be quite difficult to work on one’s mental health even with the help of a certified professional. Can working on your own really be all that effective?

The answer to this question is an assured and resounding yes. While receiving help from qualified therapists is absolutely essential for one’s mental health, self-therapy can offer an enormous amount of empowerment and support.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of self-therapy, we hope that the below guide will convince you to change your mind and become your own support system.

Self-Therapy Is Available Whenever You Need It

In many cases, actually getting to a qualified therapist may take a little bit of time. Waiting one-two weeks for your appointment may not always be a good idea if you are experiencing an acute mental health crisis.

Self-therapy exercises (e.g., the ‘Cycle of Anxiety’ worksheet), on the other hand, are available whenever you truly need them. Continuously engaging in self-therapy should make the wait for your next therapist appointment that much more bearable.

Self-Therapy Improves the Effectiveness of Regular Therapy

According to CDC, as many as 40% of all adults in the US have struggled with mental health issues throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even if you are aware that something was wrong with your mood, it could be difficult to articulate what exactly is bothering you when talking to a therapist.

Self-therapy is highly effective at laying the groundwork for getting qualified help. After completing several self-help exercises for a week or two, you should be able to pinpoint the exact causes of the changes in your regular moods. Even if you are facing personal trauma that is difficult to describe to anyone besides yourself, self-therapy can give you a few pointers on what specific issues you should prioritise to get at the root of your problems.

Self-Therapy Teaches You to Support Yourself

It can be difficult to find the power to try and overcome one’s mental health issues, particularly when facing sources of repeated stress or anxiety. Even if you regularly visit a qualified therapist, there is always a need for a support framework that can be applied when you are by yourself.

In such cases, having a self-sufficient support system that you fully control can be an absolute blessing. Certain self-therapy exercises (e.g., the ‘Inner Critic’ questionnaire) are designed specifically to provide you with a tool to make insightful conclusions about your cognitive or emotional state. Engaging in such exercises should provide a measurable benefit to how you feel and how you approach life in general.

Self-Therapy Teaches Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a concept essential to overcoming daily stress and ensuring long-term improvements to your mental health. According to researchers, mindfulness eases the symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to empowering practitioners to engage in fulfilling and joyful activities.

However, it can be difficult to practice mindfulness when visiting a therapist. In fact, you may find it easier to engage in mindfulness exercises (e.g., light forms of meditation) on your own without any outside interferences. Furthermore, nearly every regular activity (even eating!) can be conducted mindfully and positively contribute to your mental health. Regularly practicing mindfulness as a part of your self-therapy should offer tremendous levels of support and feelings of empowerment.

Self-Therapy Can Help You Manage Long-Term Conditions

Managing one’s mental health can be challenging, particularly when you have been diagnosed with conditions constantly affecting your mood and behaviours (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)). While therapists can offer cognitive tools for alleviating one’s symptoms or prescribe medications, effectively treating OCD or similar conditions almost always requires the existence of a self-support framework.

Self-therapy is just the thing for making you feel empowered when dealing with the symptoms of OCD or other chronic disorders. In fact, academic research has demonstrated that self-therapy is significant in dealing with mild to average symptoms of OCD. While the efficacy of self-therapy strongly depends on the severity of your symptoms, engaging in self-help should still provide a helpful frame of reference for your sessions with a licensed professional.

Self-Therapy Is Inexpensive and Time-Effective

For a lot of people, making their first visit to a therapist could be incredibly daunting, especially when considering that not all private or public insurance plans cover mental health issues. In general, people are used to receiving immediate results after going to the doctor. Long-term work with a therapist, however, may take several months and could present a serious challenge to one’s budget.

Self-therapy, on the other hand, does not require any significant capital investments. In fact, many self-therapy exercises are available online and only require a gadget (e.g., a smartphone) with an Internet connection to access. You also will not need to put anything important on hold to engage in self-therapy. At most, the majority of self-therapy exercises and questionnaires should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Self-Therapy Incentivises Taking Care of Yourself

It is easy to become swamped in one’s daily routine and stop engaging in activities that are designed specifically to provide long-term improvements to your physical and mental health (e.g., low-intensity cardio exercises). It is even easier to simply lose motivation to take care of oneself, especially when facing the continued global pandemic.

Self-therapy, nonetheless, should not only illuminate the root causes of your mental health issues but also provide you with sufficient energy to make improvements to your physical and mental conditions. By regularly engaging in self-therapy exercises, you should be able to alleviate the daily stresses and find some additional time for yourself and nobody else.

While self-therapy may seem like magic, taking care of oneself through exercises and questionnaires is a proven strategy of dealing with even the most significant of mental health issues. We hope that our short guide has motivated you to continue on your path to sustaining self-care and self-acceptance.

Author's Bio: 

Author Bio
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in freelancing, PhD thesis consulting, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.